Four-year-old Prince Louis and his many faces continued to steal the show at the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee over the weekend.
On Sunday at the Jubilee Pageant Parade on the Buckingham Palace Mall, he was caught making defiant expressions at his mother in a now-viral moment. When she seemed to try to discipline him, he defiantly covered her mouth and stuck out his tongue, pulled another woman’s hair and thumbed his nose at his mother.
The latest installment of cheeky behavior from the wee royal spawned a debate: Is he just a normal figgety toddler or walking proof that the Cambridges are presiding over an out-of-control household with an ineffective, loosey-goosey millennial parenting philosophy?
Kaitlin Soulé, a licensed family and marriage therapist based in California and the author of “A Little Less of a Hot Mess: The Modern Mom’s Guide to Growth & Evolution,” said it’s the former. Little Louis’ behavior, she told The Post, was “completely normal and developmentally appropriate.”
Soulé continued, “With children around his age, part of their developmental task is to push boundaries and figure out how to be in the world. And they can’t do that without pushing boundaries. They are really learning from us and they are mimicking our behavior, and I am sure he’s been shushed plenty of times. They truly learn from our behavior.”
But, some Twitter commentators mocked Middleton and her lack of control over her son. One user wrote, “True but a well raised child would never try to shut a parent like that. The adults are the ones to blame, the kid is doing what they allow them to do.”
The couple have reportedly taken a more modern, hands-on approach to parenting, one that bucks the traditional, more regimented child rearing style favored by many royals. Instead of hiring a team of kid-minding staffers, they have only one nanny.
In 2020, sources told the Sun that Kate and William have a “chat sofa” for their children when they are misbehaving. They don’t shout at the children, but rather they remove them from the situation — something that could have been difficult in this scenario that was dictated by pomp and circumstance.
Soulé, who has three children under the age of 8, said the short clip made the family seem more endearing and approachable.
“It’s so relatable, especially coming from a family where everything is always so buttoned up. I think it speaks to what we already know. No matter how much we plan and think things will go a certain way, children’s behavior is unpredictable. They’re responding to the environment that’s around them. It’s been a long week. Of course he’s not going to be perfect,” said Soulé, adding that most parents would have simply given their unruly kids an iPad to occupy them, which would have set off an even bigger firestorm.
Sunday’s video was the culmination of events to honor the Queen’s 70 years on the throne and an exclamation point on Louis’ scene-stealing faces that produced a flood of memes. But Soulé said it is not an indictment on the Cambridges’ parenting.
“Parenting a toddler is a roller coaster. Every mom has been there with their kids having a meltdown in Target,” she said. “But this is difficult, epecially with Kate knowing the whole world is looking at her, judging her in the moment.”